Cook Islands

Cook Islands main island battered by storm

Yesterday strong gusts and heavy rain battered Rarotonga, with sea surges flooding low lying areas and inundating roads with debris.

Cook Islands Meteorological Service Director Arona Ngari said it will be a significant clean up operation.

"It has been a long week or so for us, but things have abated, so just waiting for another two three days for the whole momentum of the system to calm down. No major damage apart from coastal inundation, mostly from the waves. A bit of flooding last night and the day before from the rainfall," he said.

Cook Islands suspends travel bubble with New Zealand

Four community cases reported in New Zealand overnight, including an Auckland hospital worker, brings the total to five.

Cases are all linked to Tuesday's first case in Auckland, which is confirmed as the Delta variant.

"While the epidemiological variance and transmission link for the community case in New Zealand is still being investigated, we must act swiftly here to minimize exposure risk for the Cook Islands so we remain safe," said prime minister Brown.

Tonga into Rugby World Cup playoff with win over Cook Islands

It was the Cook Islands who opened the scoring with a penalty through halfback Tokahirere Sopoaga to get a 3-0 lead.

The first quarter of the match was dominated by basic errors, and with the Kuki's line speed adding some pressure, it took 19 minutes before 'Ikale Tahi started to find some momentum.

Tonga's front row was crucial to their performance, creating opportunities to hold the ball in the scrum.

Teammates turned rivals in Tonga vs Cook Islands clash

It was only three weeks ago that 'Ikale Tahi lock Semisi Paea and Cook Islands centre Junior Raia were lining up alongside each other for Ngongotaha in the Bay of Plenty club competition.

Today both players will make their test match debut, but in different colours.

The 22 year old Paea was first called into the Tongan squad in the lead-up to their test against the All Blacks earlier this month and was surprised head coach Toutai Kefu even knew who he was.

Cook Islands dreaming big ahead of Tonga clash

The team was edged 31-24 by Tasman two weeks ago, in their first competitive match in three years, and outclassed 73-0 by the New Zealand Under-20s side on Saturday.

Meanwhile, an understrength 'Ikale Tahi suffered back-to-back defeats against Manu Samoa in their World Cup qualifier.

Cook Islands coach Nathan Robinson is a former Cook Islands international himself and said the squad has come a long way in the last few weeks.

"The cohesion has been really really good from day one," he said.

Increase in Cook Islands men seeking therapy for domestic violence

The Cook Islands Women's Counselling Centre - Punanga Tauturu, are now helping more men than women and there's growing concern tane aren't getting help at the early stages and are instead going straight to court.

Punanga Tauturu has been working to eliminate violence against women for over 20 years.

The group's Co-ordinator Rebeka Buchanan said the lack of early abuse prevention to help Cook Island families break out of cycles of abuse was an issue.

Man with historical COVID-case arrested in Cook Islands

Currently on bail, he has been charged with making a false declaration on a travel document.

The case is considered historical, presenting a low risk to the public.

Health Secretary Bob Williams says the man arrived in Auckland from Egypt on 5 May, where he tested positive for the virus in managed isolation.

He tested negative before being released from quarantine after which he flew to the Cooks, where he tested positive on 5 June.

All his close contacts have tested negative.

Cook Islands detects first positive COVID-19 case

The alert level remains unchanged and the risk to public remains low, the government said.

The man who arrived in Auckland from Egypt on May 5, 2021, and tested positive on his Day 0 test when in managed isolation (MIQ) in Auckland, according to a statement issued by Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health.

The Health Ministry said the man was asymptomatic and his test was deemed a historic case. As of Saturday evening, he remains asymptomatic.

According to the Ministry, a historical case means such cases are no longer infectious.

Cooks MPs to get vaccination first as rollout set to begin

Mr Brown says with the support from New Zealand, they've managed to receive sufficient Pfizer vaccine to provide full coverage for the population.

All residents in the Cook Islands over the age of 16 years are eligible for vaccination.

New Zealand support includes technical advice, vaccine logistics planning and support and vaccinator workforce training. It also includes the supply of consumables such as syringes and the transportation of the vaccine.

New Zealand-Cook Islands travel bubble to start 17 May - PM Jacinda Ardern

Cabinet ministers have this afternoon signed off on a 17 May start date, pending final confirmation by New Zealand's Director-General of Health and the Cook Islands Secretary of Health.

It will be subject to final checks such as airline and airport preparedness.

New Zealand would be providing the Cook Islands with enough vaccine to immunise its population. That roll-out would also commence later this month but is not considered a pre-condition for the bubble.